22 Items

Trump and Kim meet in Hanoi on February 27, 2019 (Shealah Craighead/White House).

Shealah Craighead/White House

Analysis & Opinions - Australian Outlook

The Hanoi Trump-Kim Summit: Personal Chemistry Fizzles

| Mar. 04, 2019

The breakdown of the second round of talks between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un highlights the limits of personal chemistry in diplomatic relations. To work towards a negotiated solution to the Korean Peninsula, the United States and North Korea will need to work out some real strategic agreements.

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Discussion Paper - Nuclear Threat Initiative

The IAEA's Role in Nuclear Security Since 2016

| February 2019

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the key multilateral global nuclear governance body, describes itself as the “global platform” for nuclear security efforts, with a “central role” in facilitating international cooperation in the field. Long concerned with the physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, the Agency began to ramp up its involvement in the broader issue of nuclear security after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The series of Nuclear Security Summits, which ran from 2010 to 2016, drew high-level political attention to the threat of nuclear terrorism for the first time and boosted support for the IAEA’s nuclear security mission. The final summit, held in Washington, DC, in March 2016, lauded the Agency as “crucial for the continuing delivery of outcomes and actions from the nuclear security summits.” Participating governments agreed to a seven-page “Action Plan in Support of the International Atomic Energy Agency.” Three years after the final summit seems an opportune time to assess how the Agency’s nuclear security work has fared since then. Given the complexity of the Agency’s nuclear security activities, this paper cannot provide a comprehensive assessment, but will highlight the most important nuclear security activities and the constraints and challenges the IAEA faces in fulfilling its nuclear security role.

Pyongyang, North Korea

AP/Kim Kwang Hyon

Analysis & Opinions - The Conversation

North Korea Tests Not Just a Bomb but the Global Nuclear Monitoring System

| Sep. 13, 2017

North Korea’s apparent nuclear detonation on September 3 has drawn our attention to a remarkable international organisation that helps detect and identify nuclear tests.

For the Vienna-based Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the latest North Korean explosion was easy to detect and locate. With a seismic magnitude of 6.1 and a blast yield of 160 kilotons (Hiroshima was around 15), the purported hydrogen bomb test mimicked a major earthquake. It was quickly sourced to North Korea’s nuclear test site.

Analysis & Opinions

Policy Roundtable 1-3 on the International Atomic Energy Agency Statute at Sixty

| Nov. 19, 2016

Sixty years ago, on 23 October 1956, an international conference at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York adopted the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The document is almost as long as the UN Charter and remains the legal foundation of ‘the Agency,’ as the world nuclear organization is widely called.[1] This H-Diplo/ISSF policy roundtable uses the anniversary as an opportunity to discuss the IAEA’s mandate and role in history and current affairs. Does the IAEA Statute, which was written in a very different context, stand up to scrutiny today? What does the answer suggest about the IAEA and institutions of global nuclear governance more generally? How can the IAEA be strengthened?

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Sustaining the Nuclear Watchdog with a Grand Budgetary Bargain

| May 11, 2016

Fukushima-related activities ended up consuming all unencumbered funding in the agency's safety and security budget for 2012 as well as requiring a one-off transfer of funds from other major programs. This incident illustrates graphically the hand-to-mouth existence of what is popularly known as the "nuclear watchdog."

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

The Nuclear Security Summit and the IAEA: Advocating Much and Avoiding Specifics

| Apr. 08, 2016

The 2016 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington D.C. on 1 April issued a seven-page Action Plan in Support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It contains steps that the summit participants commit themselves to taking and those they “advocate” the Agency “pursue”. In endorsing this plan, 2016 Summit participants focused more detailed attention on the IAEA than those who participated in the previous four nuclear security summits.

What Price Nuclear Governance? Funding the International Atomic Energy Agency

Greg Webb / IAEA

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

What Price Nuclear Governance? Funding the International Atomic Energy Agency

| March 24, 2016

Trevor Findlay proposes a grand bargain to address the IAEA’s longstanding funding challenges. The report considers critical questions facing the Agency’s budget and finance, and concludes that funding is insufficient for the Agency to carry out its core functions; increasing reliance on voluntary funding is problematic; the budget negotiation process is not as effective or streamlined as it should be; and the current funding system is inequitable and inappropriate given changes in the nuclear industry since the IAEA was founded. Findlay recommends a number of steps to cut the Gordian knot between the funding of technical cooperation, nuclear safeguards, and nuclear security and break the impasse on IAEA funding.

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Proliferation Alert! The IAEA and Non-Compliance Reporting

| Oct. 20, 2015

In this new report, Trevor Findlay provides the first comprehensive study of the IAEA's handling of states not complying with their non-proliferation obligations. The report finds that none of the cases have followed the non-compliance process outlined in the Agency's Statute and safeguards agreements. Rather, each case has posed unique challenges to the non-proliferation regime. The report concludes that creativity and deft statecraft are key to the handling of complex non-compliance cases.